Mar 28, 2014

Dancing In The Sun

I never know in advance what will be an important gift for me. Hence it behooves me to be open to possibilities and not ever waste time worrying. Isak Dinesen was once  quoted saying, "I think these difficult times have helped me understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way and that so many things one goes around worrying about are of no importance whatsoever." I don't know if having to experience my life with so much suffering and grief has made me realize this to be true... which is probably why I do not know whether to refer to the conditions I have been forced to live with as a gift or as a burden. I realized, too little, too late, that it's not that we need to seek pain and suffering to glean the rich learnings of life. When they happen, however, we learn so much more if we choose to see these situations as rich opportunities for learning. Unavoidably, we spend so much time worrying, and worrying is more than an attempt at remote control... which trust me, as a control freak, I once made an integral part of life that it was almost as natural as breathing. Unfortunately, we may be so preoccupied with worry that we miss the gifts our life is presenting to us at the moment.

Mar 25, 2014

Pink is my favorite crayon

Being a woman isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world...but it's what I have to work with right now. There are so many aspects of ourselves that merit self-respect. I think Indira Mahindra said it best: "When self-respect takes it rightful place in the psyche of a woman, she will not allow herself to be manipulated by anyone."  We have to realize that we are unbelievably competent at what we do. We are flexible and strong and can be both simultaneously. We have good ideas that are practical and creative, and we can articulate them well. We have the ability to deal with several tasks simultaneously and attend to each one. We are organizers, creators, and doers and we all have a great capacity for being. We have much to contribute including a perspective on life that is so different from that of the men around us. We have to believe that we are here to stay, and that we and others need to accept that fact. Self-respect is such an important thing to me and I realize that not only is it essential to me... it is also important to the world. While people take offense at how brazen I am in defending myself, I take into consideration that it may seem catty of me... but then later I realize that not only am I giving myself a voice... I am also speaking in behalf of other people who are silenced by other factors in their lives... and then I think, it is worth it.

Mar 23, 2014

Cross walks and crossed hearts and hope-to-dies, silver clouds with grey linings

Whenever people give me societal measures on who you are as a person and what ultimately defines you; I tend to disregard it. It is a sad but unfortunate truth that now, apparently, a person is often judged based on their social ranks, their popularity, their social media presence, the number of friends they have, the amount of money they earn, the brands they wear, how hard they had to fight for their job and "where they are now", their prestige, the awards they attained, their merits etc. I never saw these as true measures of a person because I believe that ultimately, they are all very shallow. I've come across people who have been sucked in by their popularity that they tend to live their life like a television show. I have come across those who think it's either Balenciaga or bust, when it comes to picking who they choose to be with. More so, I have had first hand experience with people who are supposed to be "educated" and have attained "prestigious" (in their own minds anyway) awards who end up to be the most cruel, vindictive and vile people ever and I find it all too sad really. When you are dealing with someone who is supposedly helping heal people with disabilities, you would expect some compassion... no matter what...which is why it turns me off that these people who are supposed to exhibit care and concern as per the oaths they have taken on are apparently only doing it because they are paid to do it or because the world is watching. These reasons, as stated, are probably why I  disregard all measures as dictated by society and instead put emphasis on INTEGRITY as what I value most. As Oprah Winfrey put it, "Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody is going to know whether you did it or not." Now, don't you think that is a much more accurate and appropriate measure of defining someone?

Mar 15, 2014

Just Push Play

Risk and fear- we will probably do anything to avoid them both. Where did we get the idea that it is bad to feel fear and that we cannot handle our fear? We will, for example, avoid the fear of making a choice... so we have another thing to keep us busy, or take on more work or get busy with a new thing around the house---anything. We have so much fear of facing ourselves and confronting the choices we need to make that we are often willing to wreck our lives and the lives of those around us in order not to have to make a choice. But the thing is change ends up being a real necessity is we keep on trying to do it. It's quite funny actually. Personally, for instance, I always resent it when others make decisions for me and yet I also do not want to be responsible for my choices. Now isn't that a problem that absolutely has no solution? I realized that somehow, perhaps if I can manage someone else to make a choice for me, then I don't have to own up to the consequences... and then I end up resenting myself because as it turns out, I knew the right choice all along and I should have been the one calling the shots in my life. I think I have to be confident enough to say I want to be my own person... and sometimes that scares me to death...That's okay.

Mar 14, 2014

Built To Last

Anna Pavlova once said, "When I was a small child... I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong, happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, then soon flits away." It is a common misconception that success = happiness. I think that people ultimately think that the formula for happiness is getting everything what you want and attaining all your goals and dreams. Unfortunately, as we will soon discover, when we've achieved what we always want... there's that need to achieve more, have more, earn more... I guess it is a common trait to never be content... which in some ways, I have to say is a good thing since we would not have been able to discover things if we just settled for what we wanted. Life is not a linear process... it is a series of highs and lows and happiness isn't a constant thing you have. It is fleeting... and I think that the fact that it is not something permanent that we possess is what makes us value and appreciate it more. Actually, after reflecting on it, I have come to realize that there is probably no difference between happiness and depression. They both have the same process. It is just the content that is not the same. Both will come and go. The major difference between them is what we do with them. 

Mar 11, 2014

You're The Antidote To Everything Except For Me

As women, we have a special connectedness with each other. We have been raised to be competitive with other women and to see them as enemies and competitors. I have to admit I once thought that way, until I decided the only person I have to be in competition with is myself. We have also been raised, depending on what style of household you belong to, but traditionally to see female as inferior and told that if we wanted to get ahead, we have to identify with men and either become like them or be what they wanted us to be, which personally, I find all too silly but sadly have to admit as a reality that is still prevailing. It has all been very confusing, really. Frequently, we feel alone and isolated. Then when we think we have things figured out, we discover ourselves betrayed by those we have come to trust the most. As much as life has already been hard on us, now we come to face the sad reality that inevitably there are toxic people in our lives. That, I have come to discover is among the worst things to deal with, the hardest people to let go of, but a necessary act we have to face up to do. We have to remove toxic people from our lives. Personally, I think living in itself is a challenge which is why having to live with people who suck the life out of you with constant negativity, complaints, gossip, selfishness or extreme dependency are damaging. I once was an emotional hoarder and attached too much of my feelings and experience with people I have felt and experienced them with. It is no secret that I am an introvert as I have mentioned it over and over again... and I find I only have little time and very limited energy to share of myself to other people which is why when I have decided to invest and dedicate myself to a friendship, I go all out. I may not exactly be in the running for Ms. Congeniality as I have a hard time balancing too many people and friends all at the same time but that significantly differs from being a snob as I do know I have a lot of acquaintances, common friends and people I know... but I find that I can only share and give myself fully to a maximum of 5 people at a time (again, family- not included as I am all about them!). The thing with me is, once you've earned my trust to be part of those I consider to be my core group, I am fiercely loyal. Yes, I am that friend you can call at 3 am who will show up at your door during an emotional breakdown and talk it out with you until kingdom come. I am that friend who will leave my boyfriend and cancel my date when you beckon without even having to think twice. I am that friend who gives myself so fully and wholly that my family will start to consider you as a member of the family as well. This is why, I know and have mentioned that I can only perhaps be that kind of friend, to a select few. I am happy with the few chosen ones I have decided to invest myself in now (you all know who you are...) However, as with every disappointment and rude awakening is always a part of life as a process, I find that this was always not the case, as I have been betrayed and brutally let down by some people I have trusted way too many times. Sure, there were signs but perhaps my loyalty made me too blind to recognize them. As pessimistic as this sounds, I had to learn the hard way that sometimes, the people who claim to have your back are the same people who are in the best position to stab it.

Mar 9, 2014

Endings of a New Kind

On Knowing When To Let Go: Letting go is no easy process, especially for those who have so much to do and think about and so many reasons to keep holding on. After all, have we not made our reputation with our tenacity, our stubbornness, and our ability to continue to persevere against tremendous odds? One of the fall outs of never giving up is that we lose perspective on what is important and what isn't. We lose the ability to discern what is a little battle that is not worth our effort and what is an important battle where we need to stand our ground. We dissipate and squander our energies on little things that really do not matter much and end up having nothing left when we need to face up to the really important. This loss of our ability to discern the small from the large issues is one of the disasters of not knowing when to let go. Ultimately, we need to be able to let go of the little things so we are there for the big ones. If we do that, we may discover there are many fewer big ones than we thought. In the end, it is probably not the holding on that will summarize our lives. It is the letting go that will be of greater significance. 

Mar 8, 2014

Rebel With A Cause

"It's not that I'm rebelling... I'm just trying to find another way."
- Edie Sedgwick

I think that we live in a time of intense information exchange so rapid that it boggles the mind. We are constantly bombarded with new items, new scientific information, new ideas, and new possibilities. Too often we ask ourselves, "Where do I fit?" "What is my place in all of this?" As someone who is still finding her on way, I find that I often discount my knowledge and try to skew my information or my perceptions so that they are "acceptable" to others.  In doing so, I realized, I rob the world of my accumulated knowledge... because while I am sure that there are certain experiences and life events that happen to almost everyone, there are certainly much more that occur only to us and if we try to hide the lessons we've picked up to avoid the scrutiny of those who haven't experienced what we have gone through or those who have lived as we have. So we conform and try to fit in the herd, which I actually do not understand, because I think that all of us were born to stand out...molded by the things and circumstances that have happened uniquely to us and us alone. I think everyone sees things differently and as that is the case, accurate information from a variety of perspectives is absolutely essential. We have to realize that we do have a place... and what we have gone through is important.

Mar 5, 2014

Breaking The Girl

"You wear yourself out in the pursuit of wealth or love or freedom, you do everything to gain some right, and once it's gained, you take no pleasure in it." 
-Oriana Fallaci

Sometimes, we forget what's important. We struggle so long to establish ourselves that we have become addicted to the struggle. We begin to think that if we are not struggling, we are not alive. In fact, the excitement and intensity of struggle become our focus, so that we forget our original goal. Personally, I have stopped struggling for a very long time. A common misconception people have is that I blog to gain popularity or status... many times, detractors even use this against me, thinking I would feel bad about it. I don't. For me, blogging was never about popularity. Back in 2007, I started a blog and I didn't really expect to "earn" from it. Actually, it was more of a way to document and share what I wore on a day to day basis. In no way did I think of the perks and benefits that came along with it because back then, it didn't exist yet. I just did it because I was passionate about dressing up and thought that I could somehow put it out there... whether someone else bothered enough to click and browse through it, well, was something that never really was the main goal in what I did. Whenever people ask me about ranking and statistics, I always answer that I honestly do not know as I never bothered with it. I have always been passionate about fashion, randomly sharing my thoughts on certain things and I love dressing up and this is something I have been so protective of. Ultimately, I always wanted my objective to remain the same and I would like to think that I have maintained it for the past 7 years I have been documenting my outfits.

Mar 3, 2014

Under The Bridge

Isolation is one of the characteristics of people who are doing too much. Maggie Kuhn once said, "One of the reasons our society has become such a mess is that we are isolated from each other." I realized that I may be surrounded by people all day long and that I know to be a fact since I am never alone... with my entourage of my yaya, bodyguard and private nurse always with me, wherever I go, but this sometimes does not even come as a hindrance as my single-minded dedication to work and my incessant rushing isolates me. The truth is, when I get into my groove of dealing with the frenzy of daily life, I absolutely do not like to be interrupted by anyone... loved ones, I confess, sometimes included. I would rather get my work done, the OCD person that I am. And being an ISTJ (my personality archetype) makes me frustrated when things do not fall into place, which makes others afraid to approach me. Like most of the rest of the world, I am sure you can relate. We have become just as locked up and closeted with our working, our busyness, our hurrying around as antisocial people were in their isolated houses. The tendency is, we have forgotten how to reach out, and we don't have the time for it, even if we remember how. We think that if we had more time to focus on our work that we would feel better, and naturally, the opposite happens since instead we feel exhausted. Isolation is an energy drain and I realize now that I need to learn the difference between isolation and solitude as I have seemed to have blurred the lines separating the two.

The Sun Ain't Shining No More

I wonder if it is possible to be in touch with our true courageousness without being in touch with our spirituality? Dorothy Bernard said, "Courage - fear that has said its prayers." and what a wonderful definition of the word! We know how to be foolhardy. We know how to take risks. We even know how to put ourselves on the line. But sometimes, we need to stop to reflect, we need to believe that the work we are doing has a meaning beyond the tedium of the everyday. I was going through some inner crisis in the past about my work situation and I felt as if I cannot see some larger connection in what I was doing. Inevitably, I experienced the feeling of loss and emptiness. But then things started to pick up and about 3 years ago, I was privileged to be chosen as Channel [V]'s Designer of the Month... They did a store feature and short interview (where I was struggling with my voice as I had decided to party up and celebrate the taping the night before which ended at 4 a.m.) and the taping was scheduled at 7 a.m. so there I was... hungover and hoarse and perhaps the only saving grace was that I donned a pretty Herve Leger dress... Now how is that from Triple H? Anyway, after the interview, the producers asked if I had a song preference for my video and automatically, I said that I wanted (yes, I was very assertive and on point about this one) the song to be "The Sun Ain't Shining No More" by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour simply because the song was so my style and it captured the kind of music I get inspired to when designing. I am a big fan of bands with a female lead singer- this band counted and other bands like Oh! Land, Soho Dolls, The Ting Tings, The Kills, Goldfrapp, Ladytron, The Pretty Reckless etc. The first time I saw the video played out on television (they played it out about every hour), I was ecstatic and in a way, I was able to find that what I was doing in fashion was something that I could find connection to... with myself and with other people... as people who had seen the video started to message me that seeing me on that feature made them want to pursue their craft and creativity and it reassured them that despite the process of being your own employer would be a daunting task and quite the risk, they saw that there was so much merit in doing something they were passionate about.

Mar 1, 2014

The Seven Wonders

If you are keen on certain trivia related things, you would know that most of my blog titles for my posts have been song titles or song lyrics... which somehow I relate to with my post. Since I started blogging (for fashion,specifically), magazines and people who feature me always ask me this standard question: "What do you do when you can't decide on what to wear on a certain day?" I can't even recall how many times I have been asked to answer this question seriously. I reckon it is indeed  a legitimate question to ask someone who loves dressing up and chronicles their daily style in such a public platform- after all, readers probably are interested in what comes to mind when we get up and have to pick out an outfit. Sadly, I have to say, like most people, we are not always inspired and as specific as we expect to be on a daily basis.